Personal Albums and Slideshows--My 2019 Goal


If there is one place where I have really fallen short in my photography, it is with my personal work. I am great at printing wall displays, but I have fallen behind in my personal albums. And, by behind, I mean…I have done one personal album(aside from the albums from our family sessions—I’m good at getting those done) in 16 years. SIXTEEN YEARS PEOPLE!!! What the heck?! I have the typical mom story which means that I have always put myself last on the list of priorities, but in 2019, I’d like to change that—and, I’m going to share it all here with whoever cares to watch!

Jack graduates from high school in 2020. That reality has hit home and lately, we have enjoyed looking at old photographs and old home videos. Here’s the thing though…more than ever, I have longed to hold something tangible in my hands. As much as I am a big believer in the importance of digital files, I have come to appreciate more and more what we are missing out by having all of our photographs and videos on hard drives. I mean—it is a giant pain in the ass to go back to hard drives from a few years ago. And there are so many photographs and videos that live on our devices or in the cloud…and I worry that one day, they will all be forgotten about. So, I have long wanted to make it a goal to get the best of these images into something tangible.

I think that being a perfectionist has held me back. I’ve wanted to include stories and letters to my kids and details about where we are and what each photo is in every book. That task is so huge that, in the end, it has paralyzed me. So, I’m letting all of that go and realizing that, when I look back on the photo albums of my youth, part of the beauty of going through them is found in the re-telling of the stories behind the photographs. That is, in fact, the biggest part of the joy for me. So, I’m going to treat these like old fashioned photo albums done in the digital age.

I’ve decided that the first step is to decide what it is that I want to have in the end. We have an exceptionally large catalog of images. Ideally, when all is said and done, I’d love to have annual books of every day images. Most importantly, for us, I’d love to have one book from every vacation that we have ever taken separate from the annual books. Mostly because there are so many images from each vacation, that they truly do require their own separate book. Finally, when Jack leaves home, I’d love to be able to give him a large book of the best images from his own life…a sort of ‘first chapter’ kind of book. This is going to be a bit complicated because we started out documenting our family on film and moved to digital, but I’ll work out those kinks when I get to them. So, to sum up…here are the books I’ll be aiming to create:

  • annual books for each year of our family

  • a book for each vacation we have taken

  • a book for each kid of their best images throughout their lives

This is probably a big enough project for now, but I’m also going to be organizing any video that I come across in my journey. Because, I’d love to have a video/photo montage to play at Jack’s graduation party that could then be updated and used at his wedding one day. So, I’ll share some of my favourite finds, my tips on organizing, the software that I use and, of course, the final products.

Who out there is in the same boat as me? I’m wondering if you want to follow along and create your own books alongside me as I have always enjoyed the idea of ‘community’ in everything I have done. I certainly don’t need another Facebook group or email list to manage(ha), so, I’m hoping that Instagram and my blog will be enough of a place to come together and share. Let’s use the hashtag #personalalbums and share our journeys.